On behalf of the 362,000 members of the National Taxpayers Union, over 4,500 of whom reside in Connecticut, I urge you to reject a new round of regulations on video service companies that will ultimately harm customers.
In 2007, lawmakers brought the people of Connecticut the benefits of choice and competition by passing a video franchising law that allowed other companies, besides the traditional cable companies, to provide TV services. NTU applauded the implementation of this and similar proposals around the nation, so as to fulfill one of its key objectives: an economy that emphasizes freedom of choice and entrepreneurship in which government plays a limited and sensible role.
Unfortunately, franchising reforms are endangered by amendments to HB 6604, An Act Concerning Public Access Television Channels. This legislation would impose unnecessary regulatory burdens on TV providers, thereby having a negative impact on the lower prices, more providers, and new services that consumers in Connecticut now enjoy.
Since enactment of the video franchising law, Connecticut residents have been given more options for TV service, which in turn has spurred companies participating in the telecommunications market to improve the quality and price of their offerings.
Communities throughout the state have also reaped rewards from franchising reform, including increased investment and job creation from TV providers and even a share of the considerable video service tax revenues the state collects.
Connecticut already levies punitive taxes on its citizens. According to Census Bureau data analyzed by the Tax Foundation, the Nutmeg State imposes the third-heaviest tax load, as a percentage of personal income, among the 50 states. Lawmakers should be seeking ways to lighten this burden. At the very least, the Legislature should avoid regulatory decrees whose function closely resembles taxes: to make a given good or service more expensive. Especially in this economy, new government mandates such as those proposed for HB 6604 will prolong and deepen the suffering of your constituents. Please stand up for them and vote "No."
Vice President for Communications